Burial
Untrue


4.5
superb

Review

by Jacob R. STAFF
January 4th, 2014 | 90 replies | 5,850 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: God, can you please hurry and find me? / I wasn't sure if we could be friends

Is it possible to really understand Untrue without first considering its origins? The idea is a tough pill to swallow, because this record isn’t just one whose lineage you can connect to the city and its dense sprawl if you choose to. Doing so has the existential weight of admitting that the earth just may be round- technically a valid point, but also missing the point entirely. In the case of Untrue, it IS the city- embodied in clattering percussion, haunting vocal samples and otherworldly ambiance. It’s music that says all the important things about urban life- it acknowledges that the city is a hub for people of all sorts as much as it warns of the deep and unshakable loneliness that comes from within it. That’s why it’s easy to initially be turned off by this record, because it tells a grim story of urban life that’s unnerving at first. The album relays the city’s accompanying desolation and paranoia before it sheds light on it; Untrue acknowledges it can be a pretty ugly place before it concedes that the city can be unendingly beautiful. Or maybe that the cityscape’s beauty comes from its indifference to its residents- perhaps each person is no more entitled to anything in the urban sprawl than a stray dog scavenging alleyways by moonlight.

The city is a place of opportunity, sure, but also of misfortune- robbings and shootings, those things that happen more with larger populaces of people. This danger is what keeps a narrative like Untrue alive- it sounds like that heartless place everyone drives past, that rough part of town nobody goes to anymore. Oh, and how each tune here has a brilliant depth to it, coming alive with hammering drums and being fleshed out via vocal samples- many of which sound like they could’ve easily been pulled off the streets and into the recording studio. The vocal samples are mostly brief melodic hooks, repeated indefinitely to get the message across. Many of them contain distraught lyrics- and if the words aren’t, then the delivery is. These samples, as short as they are, are repeated and drilled into the listener’s mind, eventually becoming a part of the person’s subconscious. It’d be difficult to find a true fan of this album that can’t recall that heartbreaking hook at the core of the eponymous track- and if such a person exists, it’s time to ask them what the hell has been distracting them this whole time. Burial digs deep into the soul of city culture for such samples, and he uproots sentimental phrases that, in one fell swoop, break every single listener's heart.

This thing's lyrics are heartbreaking, but the music is perhaps even gloomier until “Shell of Light” comes around. The song recollects the very idea of warmth for the listener, imagery easily forgotten in an album as sonically frigid as this. Its effect is comparable to a concert in the heart of the city, where the crowd gathers as one cohesive unit- partially because the outdoors is so damned cold, sure, but it's really all about that communal experience within the venue. The artist onstage, through his ground-shaking bass manipulations and ethereal vocal samples, creates a shelter for his listeners, and long after the venue’s doors close does that memory remain with all attendants. This is what Will Bevan’s songcraft has become- an antidote to the perpetual fog that hangs over London. Like a vaccine, it’s made of the same stuff its recipient is hoping to ward off. And it truly came to light in the form of Untrue, only to be expanded upon throughout the rest of Burial’s discography.



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user ratings (1446)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Omaha
Staff Reviewer
January 4th 2014


10184 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

i don't know if you guys have heard of this album but it's pretty cool

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

oltnabrick
January 4th 2014


30785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ok


Digging: Monte / Magntophonique - Split

Calc
January 4th 2014


12181 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hard 3 from what I heard of it...

Digging: Jizue - Shiori

breakingthefragile
January 4th 2014


2956 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

U need 2 heard of it more then man

Digging: Cathedrals - Cathedrals EP

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 4th 2014


6082 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Awesome album and that goes for the self-titled debut as well.

Digging: The Sabbathian - Ritual Rites

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
January 4th 2014


4421 Comments


Good writing, Jacob. I like this album. Although I suppose my love for it is a bit more ignorant since I don't really know much
about electronic music or really Burial as a person. Shame on me, I know. I really do love the beats and moody/nocturnal
atmosphere

Flying Lotus does a really good job at describing how the album really hits you under the right atmosphere near the end of this
video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYKx4O8Eyz0


ShitsofRain
January 4th 2014


5892 Comments


oh jacob

gonna read

Digging: Anthony Shakir - Frictionalism 1994-2009

Crawl
January 4th 2014


1613 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Kindred > this
still awesome

ShitsofRain
January 4th 2014


5892 Comments


here we go again

Gyromania
January 4th 2014


15680 Comments


All things burial > most everything else in the genre

Gyromania
January 4th 2014


15680 Comments


I llike this review - your opening raises an interesting (if somewhat tangential) question: is 'getting' music intrinsically tied to liking it? For some reason I didn't think much of this the first couple times hearing it. Now, I'm not sure if it's because I took some time away from it or because I read deviant's review, but I had a whole new outlook on it when I listened again.

ResidentNihilist
January 4th 2014


1032 Comments


i don't know if you guys have heard of this album but it's pretty cool

LOL

I thought this was going to be a negative review but then Dev's probably sharpening his steak knife in the background. Good work Omaha.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
January 4th 2014


3449 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

BLASPHEMOUS REVIEW

sweet rev jacob

AnimalsAsSummit
January 4th 2014


737 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Perfect summary. That's my favorite moment of the album

Digging: Bolzer - Soma

Skimaskcheck
January 4th 2014


2360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

god can u pls whisper in her ear

jtswope
January 4th 2014


2137 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Aw yeah! Sweet review as usual.

Gwyn.
January 4th 2014


15071 Comments


You broke the 5-only review streak ):


but fuck it amaze albm

Cygnatti
January 4th 2014


21352 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yes, yes.

also, gr8 dig, gywndlestix. :]

Digging: Jon Hopkins - Immunity

Relinquished
January 4th 2014


24993 Comments


where's deviant

Ending
January 5th 2014


1909 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fantastic album. One of the few albums I've heard in recent years that really spurned me to explore a
genre (electronic).



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